A majority of Ghanaians say it is never justified for a man to physically discipline his wife, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

physical force

While most citizens say that violence against women and girls is uncommon in their communities, many also say women are likely to be criticised or harassed if they report gender-based violence to the authorities.

Overall, Ghanaians consider domestic violence to be a criminal matter requiring the involvement of law enforcement, rather than a private matter to be resolved within the family. Most believe that the police are likely to take cases of GBV seriously.


The report also showed that more than three-fourths (78%) of Ghanaians say violence against women is “not very common” or “not at all common” in their community.

Most Ghanaians (85%) say it is “never justified for a man to physically discipline his wife. About one in seven think it is “sometimes” (11%) or “always” (3%) justified.”

“More than four in 10 respondents consider it somewhat likely” (24%) or “very likely” (18%) that a woman will be criticised or harassed if she reports gender-based violence to the authorities. Only one-third (35%) say this is “very unlikely”.

But almost nine out of 10 respondents (86%) believe that the police are likely to take cases of GBV seriously. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Ghanaians say domestic violence should be treated as a criminal matter rather than as a private matter to be resolved within the family